Clinical Trial of a Music Generated Vibrotactile Therapeutic Environment for Musicians: Main Effects and Outcome Differences between Therapy Subgroups

Warren Brodsky, John A. Sloboda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Music performance anxiety (MPA) has been documented as affecting over 60% of all performing musicians. Clinical studies have shown that cognitive-behavioral psychotherapeutic interventions are highly effective in reducing such anxiety. However, the proportion of musicians seeking amelioration from MPA that enter therapy is low, and thus in reality, traditional counseling environments have been less than fertile in mediating the high incidence of this problem. This study investigates music-enhanced therapeutic regimes as compared to standard traditional verbal counseling and psychotherapy in order to evaluate a potentially attractive therapeutic option designed especially with musicians in mind. Fifty-four professional symphony orchestra musicians were first matched in a stratified fashion and then randomly assigned to one of three treatment interventions: traditional psychotherapeutic counseling, counseling supplemented with music, or counseling supplemented with music plus vibrotactile sensations. Treatment conditions were based on cognitive-behavioral techniques including relaxation training and imagery. The Somatron® Acoustic Massage™ power recliner served as the therapeutic environment for all musicians. Results indicated that music-enhanced therapies were just as effective as traditional counseling. The study's unique features include a dismantling strategy utilized in therapy evaluation studies, comparison between active treatments, and conceptualization of the underlying psychological problems faced by musicians as career-based within an occupationally-related context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-32
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Music Therapy
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and Manual Therapy
  • Music

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